Treasury chief refusing to disclose recipients of virus aid - 2020-06-12
Building ramparts of secrecy around a $600 billion-plus coronavirus aid program for small businesses, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has moved from delay to denial in refusing outright to disclose the recipients of taxpayer-funded loans.
Mnuchin told Congress at a hearing this week that the names of loan recipients and the amounts are "proprietary information." While he claimed the information is confidential, ethics advocates and some lawmakers see the move as an attempt to dodge accountability for how the money is spent.
Businesses struggled to obtain loans in the early weeks of the program, and several hundred publicly traded companies received loans despite their likely ability to get the money from private financial sources. Publicly shamed, a number of big corporations said they would return their loans.